Hawks fall in SO 3-2 to Canucks
If you are tired of too much holiday cheer there is nothing like getting your yuletide sneer on against a foe that you have some healthy disdain for. The Hawks faced an old enemy but ended up with a lump of coal which could put anyone in a fowl mood.
The Hawks did skate away with a point but somehow it seemed very unsatisfying as they had a 2-0 lead that they lost and ended up with a game going to overtime and a long shoot out.
The game was a duel between two upcoming stars in nets for both sides. Antti Raanta of the Hawks is getting better and better with every outing. His positioning is outstanding and he just plays within himself and sticks to his game. He stopped a breakaway in the first period and was solid in the shoot out. He kept the Blackhawks in the game.
The other star goalie was Eddie Lack. If the name sounds familiar he was the netminder for the Chicago Wolves for the last several years. Lack was outstanding as well.
The Hawks opened the game strong in the first period and really controlled the puck well. The Canucks may have been fatigued and did not have their legs early. The Canucks have been on the road and just played Dallas the night before.
The two Blackhawks goals were all typical Patrick Kane. The first he had a shot from the high slot that was redirected by Kris Versteeg. The second was a thing of beauty where Kane just did his thing and initiated the play in the zone and finished it with a rebound goal after a Michal Rozsival shot.
As the game wore on however the Hawks seemed to let the game slip away from them as Vancouver found their legs. The Canucks got goals from Zach Kassian and Daniel Sedin to tie the game at two apiece which is how regulation ended.
Overtime ended and to the shoot out we went. For eight rounds the two teams struggled which just highlighted once again the great goaltending on both sides.
The shoot out saw Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Brandon Saad, Ben Smith, Kris Versteeg and Michal Handzus all shoot for the Hawks with only Sharp scoring and Canucks saw Mike Santorelli and Ryan Kessler score to pick up the second point for the Canucks who have now split the series with the Hawks.
If the Hawks needed something to be grumpy about in this season of cheer they just need to recall how they let this one slip through their skates to a rival they loath. They should not stay grumpy for too long they still managed to rake in a point after all and they are still leading the league, their conference and division so there is a lot still for them to have some cheer.
Three Stars of the game:
1. Patrick Kane
2. Daniel Sedin
3. Dan Hamhuis
Next game Monday, December 23, at 7 p.m. CDT from the United Center vs the New Jersey Devils . Tune in to CSN in the Chicago; or listen via WGN 720.